Archives For Worship

Advent Is Coming

Rebecca Chancellor Sicks —  October 23, 2015

While I am one of those people who doesn’t like to see signs of Christmas in the stores before Halloween, I am certainly aware that as church leaders, we must begin preparing for Advent and Christmas well in advance. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve begun to see the signs: emails highlighting curriculum, devotionals, and worship materials for Advent and Christmas, the children are getting ready to prepare their Christmas program, and the Worship Committee is recruiting people to light the Advent candles. Advent is coming.

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There is irony in that statement: “Advent Is Coming.” Because Advent means “coming” and the season of Advent is indeed about to begin. The first Sunday of Advent this year is November 29th, and there is much to prepare before that date arrives. There are so many good resources available for pastors during the Advent season, but each year, I seem to spend a lot of time searching for liturgy to be used in worship for lighting the Advent candles. I’ve stumbled across a good variety, but this year, I decided to write an Advent Candle Liturgy myself. I was inspired by World Vision’s Advent 2015 Prayer Guide, which is a timely resource calling us to prayer and action for those on the margins, including refugees. This is a powerful call to prayer and action, and I was moved to include similar themes in an Advent candle lighting liturgy.

Before I share the complete liturgy with you, I want to reflect on a few other salient points regarding lighting the Advent candles in worship. Continue Reading…


Josh Kerr —  September 23, 2015

“This is the joyful feast of the people of God! They will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.”

This joyful feast we in which we partake at the Lord’s Table is the center of many wonderful memories for me. I remember the conversations I had with my parents before receiving communion as a child. I remember celebrating the Lord’s Supper at summer camp surrounded by dear friends and amazing counselors. I remember the first time I presided at my ordination. The table, appropriately so, is one of the central objects/events of my ongoing faith development.


Another memory I’ll never forget is a time I helped serve communion as an intern at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX. I held the cup while the congregation, including my wife and then two-year-old son, came forward, received a piece of bread from one of the pastors, dipped that bread in the cup, and partook, receiving the holy gift of God’s grace. Continue Reading…

Lock-In Ideas

Robert Thomas Quiring —  September 2, 2015

Tis the season… Lock-In season! Lock-Ins are a really amazing tool in the youth ministry tool box. My motto is don’t take it too seriously and learn from each one – even if it is your 100th. Here are some fun and serious Lock-In activities I’ve added in recent years:


Fun Ideas

  1. Whip Cream Toss – did you know when you squirt some whipped cream in your hand and fling it up in the air it Whipped Cream Tosswill fly as one cohesive unit? Split youth into pairs, give each person a can of whipped cream, and then have them take turns trying to fling the whipped cream into each other’s mouths. It is a beautiful site to see. Warning: this can turn into a rather messy affair.
  2. Frozen T-shirts – put a T-shirt in a gallon zip lock bag. Fill the bag with water. Throw it in the freezer for 24 hours. Split youth up into small teams and then give them the frozen zip locked T-shirt. The first team to put the shirt on with the body, head, and arms in all the correct holes wins. I always say they can only use their hands and the sidewalk. I use some personal old T-shirts because these shirts will be destroyed.
  3. Pizza Delivery Race – a cool way to make snack time into an activity is to have a pizza delivery race.
    • Find 3-5 pizza delivery places – write out their phone number and what you want the youth to order on separate sheets of paper.
    • Split the group up so that there is a group rooting for each pizza place.
    • Have all of the orders placed at the same time.
    • Wait and cheer as each delivery person arrives as you are doing a different activity.

    Warning: If you are going to do this for dinner then remember that if the youth whose pizza place arrives first get to eat first and the youth whose pizza place arrives last get to eat last – you will have some grumpy youth. So, plan accordingly.

Continue Reading…